Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
How often does it happen that you go to a restaurant where the food was fine but the service was awful? The same is to be avoided in taco cart catering.
Just ask any event planner who has had a bad experience somewhere along the way.
Taco catering is much like running a restaurant only harder. Just because the chef strikes a homerun with a menu that can satisfy just everyone in attendance doesn’t mean that service can be compromised.
For example, tacos have achieved near-universal popularity with diners of all ages, all types and all tastes. But that doesn’t mean all taco caterers can deliver an event meal that makes for a happy occasion.
This is because service is as important as the food itself. The best in taco cart caterers will in fact prepare each item to order, one guest at a time. So the degree of interaction between service staff and diners is important and complex. Consider how the cook/server is expected to help a diner select ingredients and toppings and then cook the taco in full view of diners, all while presenting a service-oriented personality and maintaining strict hygiene standards.
But not every mobile taco cart operator hires and trains staff appropriately. Catering industry experts identify service failures as follows:
Inattention and an apathetic attitude – This is the employee who doesn’t really want to be there. The caterer clearly has hiring/motivating/retention issues.
Appear to be stressed and not in control – This is due to a lack of training, hiring the wrong people, or operational shortcomings.
Failure to work hygienically – Again, a training issue, possibly in violation of food safety ordinances. And deeply concerning.
So what does the party host do to make sure they are working with a caterer who has both good food and good service?
There are a few tricks that can help. First, get feedback on the taco cart catering company’s previous work. Online forums are one place to start (although they can be flawed by disgruntled ex-employees or competitors). It may make more sense to ask for references and to truly check them out.
Also, with specific regard to hygiene, make sure your caterer has one or more employees – who will work your event – with the requisite Food Protection Manager Certification. This means they have passed an exam that covers biohazards, foodborne diseases, food spoilage, contaminants, food temperature control, and employee health and hygiene standards.
None of those particular problems are appetizing to consider. But better to prevent than to remediate – your reputation as well as your guests who may suffer after your event.
This results in more than a well-run event with satisfied guests. It also means that the host or planner doesn’t have a particularly stressful time at the event or in its aftermath.